An election year has, unsurprisingly, resulted in a raft of reports on the state of the charity sector in general, and on their fundraising and financial challenges in particular.

The batting was opened in November 2023 with an open letter to the CEOs of UK banks from the Chief Executives of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. This letter asked banks to ensure that they support the management of the funds deposited with them and cites instances where charities have received poor customer service, accounts suddenly closed or suspended, and administrative delays.

This letter has been backed by a report by Higgs LLP, which also offers charities helpful advice on dealing with high street banks.

In February New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) published a report indicating that the Charity Sector subsidises government services to the tune of £2.4 billion because public service contracts with charities are insufficiently funded, resulting in charities having to fundraise for some 35% of the contract values.

At the same time as NPC released its report, CAF published its December 2023 survey amongst 653 UK charities, highlighting challenges facing charities in 2024. These included financial uncertainty, staff shortages and the lack of support from volunteers.

Many of the problems faced by charities are reflected throughout the country as a whole. It will be interesting to see the coverage given by politicians to the sector during the run-up to the General Election. Watch this space!